Had my PET scan today. This was the first scan of this variety I've ever had and in order to better understand the results, you've got to understand the scan:
Basically I eat a low-carbohydrate diet for a few days, then go in and they give my an IV bolus of radioactive glucose, wait, then scan me. Cancer cells are known to be highly metabolic and to have mitochondrial defects which (usually) prevent them from utilizing anything but glucose. So in theory, it lights up the cancer cells.
Given my recent increase in my thyroglobulin (or tumor marker), we expected to see ramped up activity in some area or a new ugly looking metastasis somewhere else.
The actual result: completely normal scan. No uptake. Nada. What the does that mean?
-This is a very complicated case, Maude. You know, a lotta ins, lotta outs, lotta what-have-yous. And, uh, lotta strands to keep in my head, man. Lotta strands in old Duder's head. Luckily I'm adhering to a pretty strict, uh, drug regiment to keep my mind limber.
-Well, it could mean that I have a VERY slow growing cancer and that the increase in thyroglobulin was a fluke.
-Or it could be some kind of biochemical mystery, in which case, we don't know what to do.
In either case, my fists were clenched and I was ready for bad news so I don't quite know what to make of the current reality.
In summary, in comforting 'the dude' in the Big Leboskwi in his time of desperation, the words of Walter Solbcheck bring me comfort, if you know what I mean (if you don't then that's the way I meant to write it).